Halloween Costume Ideas
Halloween on a Dime
Halloween Fun and Games
If the Glass Slipper Fits...
I found a fun and inexpensive costume for my daughter last year. She was wanting to dress up as a princess or Cinderella. We went to the local Goodwill store and found a beautiful used prom dress for $1.99 and a long sleeved lacy shirt to wear under it for a $1.00. I purchased a new wig at Wal-Mart for $4.00 and my daughter was Rapunzel for Halloween. We used cosmetics and dress shoes that we had at home and my daughter received many compliments on her costume.....as a matter of fact throughout the year she has played dress-up with her "costume".
One Costume That You Have Around the House
For my daughters costume party, my friend dressed her son as a "sack of garbage." His body was covered by a brown paper bag, with holes cut for arms and head, and she glued various types of garbage on the bag. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen, and he won first place.
Editor's note: Please make sure that your child is old enough to understand the joke. We don't want to hurt anyone's self-esteem!
My son was a cow. I made the costume out of a white sweatsuit with a hooded sweatshirt. I painted black cow spots and sewed ears on the hood. I found a small cow bell and sewed it at the neck of the sweatshirt. I added a rope tail and pinned (could be sewn) it to the back of the sweatpants. Knot and fray the end.
I was the farmer. I wore a cowboy hat & boots, plaid shirt and overalls (or jeans).
Deck of Cards
Perhaps they could do what our Legal Dept. did one Halloween. Using sheets of white felt for the 'card', they each chose a card (easy to make ones like the numbered cards) and made black felt cutouts for the numbers and hearts, clubs, spades, etc. A same-size piece of white felt was used for the back, attached to the front with two straps over the shoulders (like a jumper) and ties at the waist. The end result was worn like a sandwich-board sign. For uniformity, they wore black slacks or tights, and a black sweater. It was really cute, easy to make, and quite distinctive!
Two of my favorite resources for costumes are Family Fun magazine and Better Homes and Gardens. We've made many inexpensive costumes using their creative ideas. Your library may have several years of back issues -- look in all the October editions you can find. Family Fun has a great website with some costume ideas.
Face paint and sweatsuits are good ways to go...you can always use the sweats later - our kids usually end up wearing them for pajamas. If you need to decorate the clothes, use scrap material (for example, when you need Dalmatian spots) and either baste them on or use safety pins so they can be removed later. Headbands are great for holding the ears (bunny, dog, or even bug antennae made from pipe cleaners). Face paint is a good investment ... we've had our set for several years, and it comes in handy later for birthday parties and rainy days. Be sure to get one with lots of white, as it's the color used most often in large quantities.
Buy sheets of fun foam (Wal-Mart carries them in many colors, at about 36 cents each), and use this for flower petals (staple them around a wide ribbon, then tie around your head, paint your face like the center of a flower--maybe green with black dots for a sunflower), and voila - you ARE a sunflower! There are many other uses for fun foam - ears on a bunny, a crown on a king or queen...
Garage Sale Creativity
I have an 11-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son and I stopped "buying" Halloween costumes when the oldest was little. Instead I just started looking early at Garage Sales and Thrift Stores to find the "perfect" costume. Last year I found my son a 3 piece white polyester suit from a thrift store for only $4. With a black turtle neck and a few gold chains, he was "John Travolta". This year my daughter is going as a "Runaway Bride" complete with a Thrift store wedding dress and her running sneakers! Just remember, costumes don't have to cost a fortune...and as they get older children like "building" their costume instead of buying off the rack. For family costumes pick a theme, like Western, Mythology, Disco and build your costumes around that.
How about a family of Cave People. Animal print fabric can be found pretty cheap at a fabric shop and keep your eyes open for plastic bone and bead necklaces from the dollar store. Or use drumstick bones and make your own necklace!! Tie one in your hair for a Pebbles Flintstone look!! You don't have to be an expert seamstress for this either..... I definitely am not and this I found easy. Have your costume drape over one shoulder and cut the bottom raggedy in a zigzag pattern. The only place you need to sew is the sides and a little at the shoulder.
Baby could be dressed up in Cave style or as a Baby Dinosaur. Have a green jogging suit? Sew, pin, glue, or velcro little triangles of fabric or felt down the middle of the hood and jacket. If you really wanted to get creative sew and stuff a tail in a matching fabric and attach to the bum of the jogging suit. Voila!! Baby Dino!!
Cool accessories that I have found for this costume idea are a plastic club (brown and looks like wood) and a blow-up pet dinosaur with a collar and a leash.
Last year, I made my 3-year-old little boy up as a fisherman. He was so cute, won a costume contest, and it was very inexpensive. Your entire family could go as "fisher-people" for very little. First, he had been given a Snoopy fishing pole as a gift when he was born (took him a while to grow into it!), and we strung some rope from around the house as a line from it.
You can make some fish pretty easily by copying a pic from the web, blow it up in Photo Editor or whatever, do a mirror image of it, print them both, color them, glue them together, and bingo. You have fish! You could probably "stuff" them with some fluffy cotton. I laminated ours b/c it was supposed to rain, which it did! I also glued some little eyes on from the craft department, and then hung them from the string of the fishing pole. I made about 10-12 of them, 6 inches long or so. I hung a few from a string and tied it on his overalls b/c he would tire of carrying the pole around.
Next I took a floppy hat and safety pinned some bobbers, plastic worms, plastic bugs from the collection that little boys acquire, and some lures minus the hook to it. (Almost a year later that is still Josh's favorite hat!) I found some rubber boots for a dollar at the local thrift shop, overalls that were too long so we rolled up from a friend, plain T under those. Very easy, really, and not expensive at all since we had most of the stuff. That's the key, is to find a hobby of your family's and then just make it kid-size.
Take the Next Step:
- Check out Costume Craze for a huge selection of costumes for all ages.
- Need some cheap Halloween costume ideas?
- Learn how to make homemade Halloween make up, bruises & blood.
- Stay safe this Halloween with these Halloween safety tips from FamilyCorner.com.
- Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- Worst 6 products to buy in May if you want a bargain
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- 6 tips for a fabulously free vacation
- Secrets to living luxuriously for less
- Money-saving secrets of the rich and frugal
- 4 secrets to being a frugal foodie
- The high cost of convenience
- How credit cards can reduce the cost of traveling
- Keep your leather boots looking good year after year Readers' Solutions